Chamisa and Khupe fight­ing for con­trol of MDC

African Times - - Politics - NDABENI MLOTSHWA

ZIM­BABWE’S main op­po­si­tion Move­ment for Demo­cratic Change (MDC) is headed for yet another split af­ter an in­tense power wran­gle weeks af­ter the death of found­ing pres­i­dent, Mor­gan Ts­van­gi­rai.

Self-im­posed youth­ful leader Nel­son Chamisa (aged 40) and ex­pelled deputy pres­i­dent Thokozani Khupe (54) are fight­ing over con­trol of the party.

Khupe, ex­pelled along­side her sym­pa­this­ers last Fri­day, ar­gues she is the rightful leader hav­ing been elected as Ts­van­gi­rayi’s deputy at congress.

The for­mer Deputy Prime Min­is­ter has been sacked to­gether with party’s na­tional or­gan­is­ing sec­re­tary, Abed­nico Bhebhe, and spokesper­son, Obert Gutu, for re­fus­ing to en­dorse Chamisa.

Love­more Moyo, party chair­man re­signed in protest.

This week, Khupe and other ex­pelled of­fi­cials ar­gued their fac­tion were the rightful own­ers of party name and in­sisted they would cam­paign and run par­al­lel MDC struc­tures ahead of polls later this year.

Wit­ness Dube, Khupe’s spokesper­son, said they had since writ­ten to the na­tional speaker of par­lia­ment, Jacob Mu­denda, to be recog­nised as the rightful MDC.

They are seek­ing gov­ern­ment fund­ing un­der the Po­lit­i­cal Par­ties Fi­nances Act.

“We ex­pect to be al­lo­cated what is due to us un­der the Act. We ex­pect that the gov­ern­ment will do bet­ter by not dis­crim­i­nat­ing against the MDC-T led by act­ing pres­i­dent Khupe,” Dube said.

Mor­gen Komichi, act­ing party chair­man, sid­ing with Chamisa, said Khupe and his sym­pa­thiz­ers would be re­placed.

“Our con­sti­tu­tion has got a clause in which the pres­i­dent has the pre­rog­a­tive or the pow­ers to ap­point a mem­ber of the stand­ing com­mit­tee.

This is the same clause that was used by Ts­van­gi­rai to ap­point Chamisa and (Elias) Mudzuri as two ex­tra vice-pres­i­dents of the party,” Komichi said.

Formed in 1999, MDC split in 2005 af­ter a dead­lock over the par­tic­i­pa­tion in sen­a­to­rial elec­tions.

The cur­rent up­heavals are seen as weak­en­ing the party against a re­vived ZANU-PF un­der Pres­i­dent Em­mer­son Mnan­gagwa.

Self-im­posed youth­ful leader Nel­son Chamisa, left, and ex­pelled deputy pres­i­dent Thokozani Khupe.

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